WASHINGTON, April 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- America's non-alcoholic beverage industry salutes Earth Day and the countless actions it has inspired among individuals and companies to protect our planet.
The beverage industry celebrates the spirit of Earth Day all 365 days of the year and is proud to be among the world's leading innovators of ways to reduce environmental impact and carbon footprint.
"America's beverage industry is committed to conserving and protecting natural resources so we can continue to lower our carbon footprint and make for a more sustainable world," said Susan Neely, ABA president and CEO. "When it comes to environmental sustainability, the beverage industry is united and continuing to lead."
Among the industry's latest achievements:
Improving the Fuel Efficiency of Company Fleets
The nation's leading beverage companies now have the largest fleet of fuel-efficient heavy-duty hybrid commercial vehicles in North America. And we have increased fuel economy (miles per gallon) by 3 percent per year since at least 2010. This represents a 12.6 percent increase in fuel efficiency over five years.
Alternative fuels and advanced technologies (hybrid, all-electric, propane, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas) currently power more than 1,700 industry vehicles. The industry's all-electric vehicles alone eliminate 10 tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year.
The beverage industry is innovating and working with others to make its fleet even more fuel efficient. Among the initiatives that individual companies are involved in advancing:
- Partnering with XL Hybrids of Boston to grow the number of industry light-duty service vans fitted with the firm's innovative hybrid engine conversion technology.
- Engaging with the National Clean Fleets Partnership Program, public/private initiative between the U.S. Department of Energy and large companies to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient and alternative fuels nationwide.
- Participating in the SmartWay Transport Partnership, a public/private collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the freight transportation industry that helps shippers, carriers and logistics companies improve fuel efficiency and save on fuel costs.
- Collaborating with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), a non-profit group focusing on environmentally sustainable business practices, to develop a software tool that will allow beverage industry fleet managers to identify lower-carbon fuels.
Lowering Water Usage, Protecting Watersheds
The beverage industry has reduced its water usage every year for five years, attaining a decrease of 14 percent in our water-use ratio from 2009-2013. Leading beverage companies are working with The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund to restore and protect watershed areas in North America.
Conserving Energy and Reducing Greenhouse Gases
America's leading beverage companies have vowed voluntarily to eliminate hydrofluorocarbons – a common coolant and contributor to carbon emissions - as a refrigerant in company-controlled coolers, vending machines and fountain dispensers. The industry is also replacing thousands of machines with Energy-Star rated equipment and when done will have taken the equivalent of 15 million cars off the road.
Making Packaging More Recyclable
Nearly all of our aluminum, glass and plastic beverage containers are 100 percent recyclable, even the caps. Our constant efforts to "lightweight" containers allowed the industry to cut its primary packaging by nearly 50 percent even as sales increased by 24 percent.
Supporting Comprehensive Recycling Nationwide
The beverage industry is at the forefront of the recycling movement. Our members and suppliers support valuable programs like The Recycling Partnership, which provides grants and technical assistance to communities to improve curbside recycling. We have funded the placement of tens of thousands of recycling bins for homes and public spaces in cities and towns across the United States.
Our companies are founding contributors to the $100 million Closed Loop Fund, established in 2014 to provide communities with no-interest loans to expand curbside recycling programs.
The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.
SOURCE American Beverage Association